Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest places in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Flat working hierarchies, high salaries and generous holiday allowances are just some of the reasons to work in Denmark.
Although it is expensive to live there (high taxes and living expenses), you will have access to first-rate public services, such as free healthcare. Since half of the population of the Danish capital of Copenhagen commutes to work daily by bicycle, your commute will also be enjoyable.
According to the World Happiness Report 2023, Denmark is the second-happiest nation on Earth in part due to its informal and laid-back workplace culture. In the top 20 countries for expat living, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2023, is Denmark. Additionally, it’s where you should go if you’re looking for “hygge,” the distinctively Danish idea of coziness and community.
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about working in Denmark as a foreign worker, regardless of whether you’re looking for your dream job or you’ll take anything to start with.
Work in Denmark
Denmark is one of the best places to work, and its work-life balance is renowned and admired around the world. We don’t blame you if you’ve decided to work in Denmark, so we’ll show you how to get a job in Denmark.
In comparison to the majority of Europe, Danish workers earn very high salaries, and the country has a very high standard of living. Denmark has one of the most developed economies in the world, making it a prime location for startups and business growth.
But it can be difficult to find work here, especially if you don’t already have a network. You’ll discover ways that the culture of Denmark differs from your own country at work as well.
In general, the working day in Denmark begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Many employees leave even earlier on Fridays; some workers also leave early during the week to pick up their children.
If your boss discovers you working late, he or she will most likely tell you to go home and enjoy your evening.
When you work in Denmark, you will usually contribute a portion of your salary to your “feriepenge” (holiday money). You can then have this money released; this money is for you to spend when you have free time.
Jobs in Denmark
The Danish labor market is famous for its ‘flexicurity,’ which means that employers can hire and fire at will to meet market demands while employees are protected by A-kasse (unemployment insurance fund).
Workers also have excellent working conditions as a result of a strong collaborative arrangement between unions, employers, and the Danish government, and the market is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). In the southernmost Nordic country, you will feel valued in your position.
Most demand Jobs in Denmark
- Software developers and other IT-related jobs.
- Life science.
- Other medical personell.
- Business and finance.
- Metalworking and mechanical engineering jobs.
Requirements and Eligibility to Work in Denmark
A visa and a work permit may be required for foreigners who wish to work in Denmark. Both are unnecessary for EU citizens, who are free to enter and begin working right away. If they intend to stay longer than three months, they must be properly registered in the nation (for a CPR number, a health card, etc.). Only after six months in Denmark do residents of other Nordic nations need to register.
Foreign nationals must have a visa and a work permit in order to enter Denmark. A job contract is the first requirement to qualify for a visa.
You’ll probably need a written contract of employment or proof of your job offer outlining your salary and employment conditions in order to submit this application.
A residence or work permit is not required for EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals to enter Denmark and seek employment. On the other hand, if your stay will last longer than three months, you must apply for a registration certificate when you arrive.
With the help of this certificate, you can get the civil registration number (CPR), health insurance card, and tax number you need to use public services and to be paid.
Danish is the official language of Denmark, but it’s not the only one you’ll hear – the majority of Danes speak English as a second language, with many also knowing German, French, and Swedish.
Job applications are typically submitted in Danish or English, but check with your preferred organization for any language requirements.
How to Apply for a Job in Denmark
Some universal tips on applying for jobs are just as suited to the Danish job market. This includes a tailored CV and cover letter that show how you match the job position perfectly. However, there are some tips and tricks specific to the Danish job market that you will benefit from knowing.
Given how quickly recruiters may skim through a CV, it is a good idea to stick to a format that Danish recruiters are more used to.
- Start with your personal details such as your name, age, and gender. If you include a photograph, make sure it is professional yet modern-looking. Forget the serious-looking passport photo and go with a friendly-looking picture of you with a building or window in the background.
- Include a personal summary at the top. This should be a paragraph of no more than five or six lines where you mention your professional skills as well as your personal and social qualities.
- CVs tend to follow a chronological order. List your most recent professional experience and qualifications first to last. Remember that not all professional experience is relevant. Since you only have a few minutes to impress your potential employer, you will want them to know the most important aspects of your career, and not be overwhelmed with too much information.
- List languages and hard skills. If you have studied abroad, make sure to include that as well.
- Keep hobbies and other activities to a minimum and only include them if they are relevant for the position.
Cover Letter Tips
It is critical to include a cover letter with your job application. As in most other job markets, you should make the best case possible for how you fit the position. A winning cover letter will highlight some other characteristics that Danes highly value. Teamwork, for example, is highly valued, as is the ability to solve problems. Make sure to highlight your abilities by emphasizing situations in which you achieved good results as a team or solved a problem efficiently.
Required References and Qualifications
References are not typically required, although they are becoming increasingly common for managerial roles. You can list the contact details of someone who can vouch for your character and skills. You can also simply mention at the bottom of the resume that you can provide references upon request—and get extra points if you write it in Danish: “anbefalinger kan fås ved nærmere henvendelse.”
As for qualifications, you should expect to provide an employer with a copy of your diploma or certificate.
One thing that should not surprise you is if you are asked for a straffeattest—a document provided by the Danish police proving you have not been convicted of a crime in the country. This is asked of both Danes and non-Danes and can be easily obtained online.
If you’ve made it to the interview stage, you should be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the business. Know your resume inside and out, and have two or three work experiences in mind that you can use to demonstrate your strengths and capacity for problem-solving.
When conducting an on-site interview, a firm handshake and eye contact are essential. Both are regarded as indicators of self-assurance and reliability. There should be a smart-but-casual dress code. It is not necessary to wear a business suit (unless applying for a bank or law firm). In fact, appearing overly formal might contribute to the perception that foreign workers are too set in their ways among Danes.
Expats, in particular, need to network. Because Danes tend to have connections in the country, you can definitely benefit from developing a good network of contacts that can be useful for a future job. Finding specific events in your city related to your field of work is the best way to go about it. Consider conferences, meetups, workshops, and other events that may draw other professionals in your industry.
Denmark is the second-happiest country on the planet, thanks in part to its relaxed workplace culture. Half of the population of Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, rides their bikes to work every day. Danish workers are paid well, and the country has a high standard of living. However, finding a job in Denmark can be difficult, especially if you don’t already have a network. Because half of Copenhagen’s population rides their bikes to work every day, your commute will be enjoyable as well. Denmark is the second-happiest country on the planet, according to the World Happiness Report 2022, thanks in part to its informal and laid-back workplace culture.
While employees are protected by A-kasse, employers are free to hire and fire staff to meet market demands (unemploymen. The majority of Danes are bilingual in German, French, and English, and many are also proficient in Swedish, German, and French. Danish or English are typically used for job applications. The first prerequisite for receiving a visa is a job contract. EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals may enter Denmark and look for work without a work permit or an EU passport.
Some general advice on job applications is equally applicable to the Danish labor market. Sticking to a format that Danish recruiters are more accustomed to with a Danish-style CV is a good idea. If you do, make sure the image is both professional and appropriate.
Focus Key phrase: Denmark